…what happens do all those dreams you’ve had since the time your memories began? Back and back and back… Did they wither and fall away like dead leaves? Are they still hiding somewhere in a sulci of your brain? Or did you throw them away like useless scraps left over from an unfinished task? When I am alone and nostalgia creeps up on my mind I come across the remnants of things I dreamed of long ago. Things I thought I had time for, energy for, strength for, life for…
I can’t help but feel defeated. I’m always told that is something which should not exist in my vocabulary. But it does. It does. It exists, and festers, and grows with every day.
I have love. I have been granted, gifted, bestowed with a kind of love I wish all beings could experience. I am loved in every aspect of my being; I am loved as a child, as family, as a woman, as a friend… I am loved. And I am grateful. It keeps me from things that would otherwise destroy me.
As a physical being, though, I feel annihilated. I cannot find my way back to things which used to frame portions of my life that made me thrive. I feel I am groping blindly in the darkness for a door back to the light. I don’t know how to find the will to create, to learn, to transform, to be… Right now I have all the time one could wish for to do all, to be all. But I have no ability to do any of it.
I know pain kills parts of you that would otherwise birth the most beautiful things. Some people find inspiration in it - I haven’t learned that art. Maybe temporary pain, maybe curable pain, maybe pain that has an ending or a solution or a light at the end of the tunnel can. Maybe pain that comes with hope can yield creation. I don’t know that kind anymore.
It’s only been a few short years and already I am tired beyond my means. I don’t like looking at people. It makes me feel ashamed of the envy I feel for their oblivious bodies. For the first time in my life I have a hard time finding joy in the happiness of others. Why? It’s such a god damn humiliating feeling. This is not me. I don’t want anyone’s life. I don’t want a foreign body. I just want to turn back to the road that was mine before. I don’t know how I got lost in this darkness.
The crux of my unhappiness lies in the fact that I am screaming but the people who are supposed to be listening are growing more ignorant. Or afraid, and I’m not sure which is worse. Doctors pass me around like a jarred specimen no one really knows what to do with, and everyone is afraid to touch. No one wants the responsibility of treating me. I’m bounced from one specialty to another because, well, no one has an answer that satisfies. Sure, I have a diagnosis. Several, in fact. But there is always more, and that more is the secret which makes me the most undesirable sort of patient.
The shortcomings of medicine have added to my already bitter and disillusioned state. If there is no cure and no answer, at least offer me an avenue of relief instead of bargaining with me for scraps. Doctors have no right to give patients ultimatums: if you do this, I will ease your pain. If not… well, you are on your own. That isn’t medicine. That is the worst kind of blackmail. This… this is why I feel defeated. Because I’ve been reduced to finding my own solutions and, in the eyes of society it makes me one thing, and one thing only: a junkie.
This is what happens to your dreams. Life has its own way of tearing them away. For me it came with mental illness first. Then with the physical. And lastly, with the realization that sometimes you’re left on your own - or with a few people who love you so much it causes them as much pain as it does you. And that is the most painful part.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
— Langston Hughes